I read a book about eight years ago on how to become a millionaire by buying real estate, with no money down, of course.
The thrust being that the interest on each mortgage payment was deductible. So if you had enough property, you conceivably would pay no income tax at all.
I loved the idea and pursued it vigorously. Only trouble was, after I had acquired numerous houses and buildings, lo and behold, along came the 1986 Kemp-Roth tax law eliminating deductions on all rental properties -- at least in my income bracket. It's been very difficult to sell anything recently and I am left with a lot of mortgaged properties. Everything is rented, but it is still a losing proposition.
I find that the so-called self-help books that really work are the ones founded in spirituality. From Norman Vincent Peale forward, many of these books are dynamite if we can discipline ourselves to practice their principles. Based on the Old and New Testament metaphysics that right thinking, success attitudes and unbridled faith can accomplish anything, they lead us (often by powerful examples) step by step to health, wealth and happiness.
Two of my favorites are "The Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox, circa 1934, which is really a succinct explanation of the Jesus Christ message, and "The Prosperity, Secret of the Ages" by Catherine Ponder, circa 1964. Having recently emerged from a deep depression, these two books have changed my life.
And they show you how to make lots of money.
G. Denmead LeViness
After watching the news and reading the newspaper accounts of the events that took place in Los Angeles, I am left with a few questions.
Why was the trial referred to as the Rodney King Trial when Rodney King was not on trial but four white police officers were?
Why were the passengers in the car with Rodney King handcuffed? This was a traffic violation. It may have been aggravated by Mr. King's speeding, but were the passengers guilty of being black?
As I watched the news, I saw as many Hispanic as black looters. I saw Asian and white looters but I only heard about the blacks rioting and looting. Why?
And finally, I saw what were described as Korean merchants, supposedly guarding their shops, indiscriminatingly shooting into the crowds. What will happen to them?
After all, they too were seen on national television.
Walter T. Jones
I wish to call attention to evidence of subtle yet insidious
gender bias in The Sun's coverage of Lynn Yeakel's Pennsylvania Senate campaign. In particular, there are striking differences in the "spin" on separate articles filed by Jack Germond on April 28 and Karen Hosler on April 29.
Mr. Germond's piece -- filed before Ms. Yeakel won the Democratic nomination -- distinctly conveys the impression that Ms. Yeakel is a know-nothing spoiler who would rob the deserving male lieutenant governor, Mark Singel, of a rightful nomination.
Mr. Germond chooses words with negative connotations to characterize Ms. Yeakel's political status. He brands her a political "amateur" who is "inexperienced in politics." (Ross Perot frequently escapes such near-epithets.)
Further, Mr. Germond sets Ms. Yeakel up at the outset of his article as ignorant (because she doesn't have a position on adult education?); as lacking in meaningful skills (a social activist whose "only" public role was as director of Women's Way); and in general as a wealthy matron who chose to run "against the white male establishment" as though that were a galling presumption.
Mr. Germond treats Lt. Gov. Singel, on the other hand, as a good guy who got a bad break. Ms. Yeakel's "amateur standing drives Mr. Singel up the wall." Aw, gee, too bad. "I could be good at it if I get that chance," says Mr. Singel of his quest for a Senate seat. Mr. Germond's heart seems to bleed for him -- he lets Mr. Singel have the last word.
What a difference a day makes. Karen Hosler's article profiling Ms. Yeakel's primary win uses action-oriented, gender-neutral language to describe the campaign's outcome. In her article, Ms. Yeakel isn't an amateur, but a "political newcomer" who engineered a "smashing defeat."
Ms. Hosler also puts the campaign in a broader political context. Where Mr. Germond's piece implies that Ms. Yeakel's personal wealth was behind her freakish surge, Ms. Hosler quotes at least two female political activists who note that Ms. Yeakel's candidacy is the fruit of "two decades of women who plowed the ground before [her]."
I'd like to suggest that, for the duration of this campaign year (if not beyond), The Sun assign someone as editorial police officer in charge of rooting out gender bias in political reporting.
Amy L. Berstein
Points Will Missed on Public TV
When columnist George F. Will poo-poos public television as being an "upper middle-class entitlement," he completely misses the point.